Colin the Chameleon by Rachel Quarry
Starfish Bay, 2018. ISBN 9781760360474
(Ages: 3-6) Themes: Chameleons, Problem solving. Rachel Quarry's "Colin the Chameleon" is a delightful picture book that follows the journey of a young lizard whose unique colouration first hinders then helps with his survival and his family.
Colin the chameleon has bright red skin which stands out from the green and brown forest foliage. He has a problem blending in because he can't change colour like his brothers and sisters. They all scurry about catching insects, concerned for their own safety, while leaving Colin to fend for himself. Camouflage is a key element for the chameleons' survival. Poor Colin, he just escapes from an eagle's talons and from the jaws of a large menacing snake. There's one very dangerous part of the forest the road where vehicles drive by leaving their tyre prints. Across on the other side are plenty of juicy, tasty insects. Luckily Colin's bright colouring helps him boldly stand out from the sandy track, the traffic stops to let him scurry across. Soon his brothers and sisters realise that being unique, standing out from the crowd is a very useful quality.
Quarry's simple descriptive and alliterative text is engagingly complimented by her ink, print and collage illustrations. She capture Colin's story using natural forest colours that contrast with his bold red and spotted lizard's skin. Wordless pages move the story forward, capturing the menacing snake and the camouflaged siblings. Sharing "Colin the Chameleon" with preschool and junior primary students provides for dialogue on wellbeing, accepting one another's abilities and as an introduction to animal report writing.